|A boy appreciates a phoenix toy in Fuzhou of Southeast China February 24, the sixth day of the week-long Chinese Lunar New Year holidays. [Xinhua]
The readjustment in China's official holidays has now entered a stage of consultation, with proposals including to shorten the week-long National Day and Labour Day holidays while to add the Mid-Autumn and Qingming festivals to the roster.
Sources from an annual forum on social development held in Renmin University on Wednesday said the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the country's top economy planner had collected proposals from multiple sources.
"The readjustment has reached a crucial stage, and the new holiday system may come out next year so far as I know," said Professor Zhai Zhenwu of the university.
According to Zhai, traditional Chinese festivals including Mid-Autumn and Qingming festivals are aspired to get official identities while week-long Lunar New Year holidays are set to be maintained.
The newly-added-holidays-to-be will be the replacements of the deductions from the week-long National Day and Labour Day holidays to keep a same number of leaves year around
China initiated the three "Golden Weeks", namely, the Lunar New Year Holidays, the Labour Day Holidays and the National Day Holidays in 1999. During the past eight years, annually surging holiday consumption and holiday drawbacks such as overloaded traffic and exhausted public facilities have been going together.
Relevant departments made several attempts to crack the hard nut after 1999, yielding no fruits.
The idea of taking days off on traditional Chinese festivals such as Mid-Autumn Day came out as early as 2004, when Ji Baocheng, principle of Renmin University proposed on that year's forum on social development based on his year-long research.
As a NPC (National People's Congress) deputy, he presented his proposal to the annual congress from 2004 to 2006. He listed the traditional festivals as Lunar New Year Eve (named as Sanshi by Chinese people), the Dragon Boat Festival, Qingming Festival and Mid-Autumn Festival.
The principle also suggested compulsory annual pay leave in summer or winter. He is reportedly to propose the abolishment of the three "Golden Weeks" at this year's congress opening this weekend.
Other experts said the new official holiday system is rational enough to usher in an orderly and stable holiday market.